Wailing City
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The Wailing City does not have Doors such as the Library. It has Gates. Massive, vast, and cyclopean. Ancient stone towering far away into nothing, with only a thick cable hanging down out of the mist. I pulled it, and the ringing of a great bell announced my arrival. Its tolling shook me to my marrow. Was it the force of the bell? Was I myself shaking with fear? I do not know. A shiver ran down my spine and I realized that the gate was unmanned, unbarred and unguarded. An oily blackness beckoned, guarded only by the howling wind. My palms slick with fear, I walked into the city, like a lamb leaving the fold.

I was stricken with wonder upon stepping through. The Library is grand to be sure, and the Halls of Methuselah are perhaps the most beautiful sight which the mind can comprehend, but nothing exists on the scale of the City. Nothing that we know or can understand. It struck me with its terrible beauty. Rooted to the ground I tried to scream but all that came out was a low moan. Would that I had prayed for my salvation, and spoken the Lord's name aloud. And yet I knew that it would be for naught. I knew that the Lord God had no truck here, nor His children. This place was not built by the hands of men, I thought to myself.

In the distance, I could hear the Wailing. A deep hollow sound, twisting and curving around the towers of the city. Beating at every fiber of my being, a vast inscrutable force that drove my thoughts in spirals, like I had been pushed down a flight of stairs.

If the wailing had not been enough to convince me of my wrongness, of my inability to cohabit with the city, then the statues did even more. Imposing and inscrutable, they stole my attention away from my surroundings, away from the pouring rain, the cold rivers, and the vast towers. They stood in the center of the square, I do not know how many. Bright obsidian eyes pierced me to my core and I swear, I swear they were going to come to life. To dash me against the river rocks, or squash me 'neath their boot like some overripe fruit. I did not stay to find out. I was not welcome here. I did not belong. With all of the willpower I could muster, I unrooted myself and fled. Behind me as I ran, I could hear the great tolling of that terrible bell, the soft scrape of stone gates closing, but most of all I could hear the Wailing. The terrible Wailing that dogged my heels as I ran, heedless of danger, back home.


The city still sits in my memory, towering miles into the air. Monolithic and looming, spires and skyscrapers climb high into the air among the every-present clouds. There is no sun, only a hard rain and endless fog that reaches from the cold rivers with their shale banks all the way to the tops of the highest. I remember, in the center of my vision, beyond the statues with cold obsidian eyes, lay a large building. A palace of shale and obsidian and granite, from which that unnatural wailing emanated. I remember the great cyclopean ruins that surrounded me, and the infernal wailing. I remember the obsidian eyes of the statues and the looming monoliths and I understand. It was not a strange place, I was the strange one. It was I who was unnatural here.

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